5 Cities Changing Gears [Momentum Mag]

5 Cities Changing Gears - lead
Photo by Jӧrg Bandell
Taking a break in Schusterstraße in the bicycle-friendly city of Freiburg, Germany. People often relax by cooling off in one of the many streams running through the city, diversions from the Dreisam River that flows through Freiburg

1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Population: 1.8 million
Bikeways: 137 miles (220 kilometers) of separated priority bikeways with a plethora of regional trails
Transit Network: 118 miles (190 kilometers) over nine lines of surface and separated metro rail with extended regional rail capacity.
Copenhagen is the poster child of urban cycling. 37 percent of trips taken in the city are on a bike. The city clearly has developed a cycling culture, even in a cold and wet climate. The Danes are notable for treating cycling as an everyday activity, dressing for the destination and carrying their children on their cargo bikes.
The conceptual form of the city, known as the “green fingers,” reflects the form of a human hand where the city core is the palm and the splayed-out fingers are the connections to suburban development. The gaps between each finger allow for green wedges of park and “wilderness” that can be visited from every neighborhood. Cycle Super Highways and a network of enhanced bikeways will further connect the city and include priority signaling as well as a bounty of other amenities. The fastidious Danes do not rest on their laurels as cycling royalty. The next stage of development is to increase the mode share of cyclists to 50 percent for the entire city, including the suburbs. Neither do they tackle cycling issues in a vacuum. Planning departments learn from neighboring and worldwide cities to achieve their local goals.